Global brands which insist on a “one size fits all” marketing strategy for all their territories are creating big headaches for Aussie marketers argues Jeremy Swartz (pictured below), ANZ vice president of customer engagement firm Thunderhead.
Swartz told B&T that global brands often believed a blanket strategy would work in all the countries that they operate. “That’s simply not true,” Swartz said. “Just because a message plays well in Singapore, that doesn’t mean it will play well in Sydney.
“Everyone wants a strong brand, be it for trust or quality or whatever; but the message not only has to be regionalised it needs to be individualised and I think that’s the main challenge a lot of brands are having now,” he said.
Swartz also believed the next big issue for CMOs would be customers “voting with their feet”. He argued for too long a lot of companies – namely the banks, insurance companies and financials – had made it too difficult to shop around; bogging disgruntled customers down in paperwork and exit fees.
He said customers increasingly wanted the ability to shop around and switch to a better deal, and with that happening “there are a lot of companies that are going to be in a lot of trouble”.
“Financial institutions are famous for making it all too hard to leave,” Swartz said, “it’s all so painful that the customer simply doesn’t bother.
“Customers want change and that change is happening and when it comes there are a lot of businesses behind the eight-ball with this. Just because you’re safe and happy and have 10 million customers today that doesn’t mean you will have 10 million customers tomorrow.”
However, Swartz had an easy solution for marketers befuddled by what their customers wanted and how to attract more loyal ones – listen.
“It all starts with listening. Rather than projecting what you think a customer should be doing, rather than guessing the journey you think your customer is taking to buy your products, rather investigate to see what is actually going on, once marketers start listening it will soon become clear whatever the next best channel is. But it all starts with the passive listening,” he said.